Author Topic: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum  (Read 47181 times)

Offline hec031

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Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« on: 06/26/2010 04:32 PM »
This last winter under a government funded effort we tested our Asymmetrical capacitor devices in both Air (atmospheric conditions) and Vacuum ( lower than 4.5x10^-6 Torr). In both test cases the results were identical. The devices showed a force averaging 2mN.

Currently we are working on trying to get someone to confirm the work but every organization that has been approached has shown great reservations in being the one to confirm the findings. The same issue keeps being sighted. While no researcher that has seen our final report has been able to identify the source or cause of the force, they retain the position that the effect must have a conventional origin despite their failure to identify it.

That puts me in a catch 22 at the moment. In either case I needed a fresh perspective and ideas so I figured this would be a great place to get it at.

Feel free to comment, make suggestion or ask questions. I will warn you that while the work is not secret, it is proprietary and non of the people and organizations involved want anyone to know who they are at the moment. The choice is mind, but I rather not burn any bridges, just yet.

I'll do my best to answer questions.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #1 on: 06/26/2010 06:08 PM »
URL?

Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #2 on: 06/26/2010 06:22 PM »
URL?

My companies website is still under construction, but it's http://www.gravitecinc.com

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #3 on: 06/26/2010 09:22 PM »
URL?

My companies website is still under construction, but it's http://www.gravitecinc.com

How large is your vacuum chamber? Generally speaking, when in a vacuum, these devices do develop a thrust by electrostatically reacting against the chamber
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Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #4 on: 06/26/2010 10:01 PM »
URL?

My companies website is still under construction, but it's http://www.gravitecinc.com


How large is your vacuum chamber? Generally speaking, when in a vacuum, these devices do develop a thrust by electrostatically reacting against the chamber


The chamber is small 15 inches in Length by 12-1/2" in diameter. It is horizontally oriented as is the test device. Both Coulomb and Mirror/Image charges have been calculated at the applied voltage with the charges focused in the direct of displacement and they simply cannot account for the observed force. They are at least one order of magnitude to small. In addition Mirror charges cannot account for the same volume and direction of the force in the absence of the chamber door, which would be the closest point at which the device could create a Mirror charge on. Prior and post testing on separate test stands, which have ranged in scale and size from a 24" inch cube to over 8' ft show the same level of performance for the same device in air as in vacuum.

In addition the devices showed no change in performance while simultaneously wrapped in Mu-Metal and enclosed inside a Faraday Cage, both of which had to be displaced with the device as they were integrated components.

There was also no change in performance when the above mentioned device was exposed to a -/+200 Gauss magnetic field.

Need to also clarify that the force is not oscillatory or transitory, it's steady state and displaces the device from it's resting Level Pendulum position forward and up where it holds this position for as long as power is being applied to the device.

In addition any Mirror charges perpendicular to the axial displacement of the tests device cannot account for the observed axial displacement force of the device. Our analysis of Mirror charges was an upper limit case were all the charge was perfectly mirrored with a perfect linear axial vector, with no allowance for losses or diffusion in any other direction. In other words it does not get any better than this. We gave it every possible change to account for the observed force.

I must admit that I'm ignorant of the reference you sight for the observation of these kinds of devices producing visible thrust under high vacuum conditions and the conclusion that it was the result of Coulomb or Mirror charges. In all prior studies in vacuum that I'm aware off, such as Talley, Campbell and The Institute for Scientific Research, I saw no such reference to th effect you sight. Please share if possible.

Thanks for your interest.

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #5 on: 06/27/2010 12:38 AM »

Need to also clarify that the force is not oscillatory or transitory, it's steady state and displaces the device from it's resting Level Pendulum position forward and up where it holds this position for as long as power is being applied to the device.


Have you flipped it over?
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Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #6 on: 06/27/2010 04:00 AM »

Need to also clarify that the force is not oscillatory or transitory, it's steady state and displaces the device from it's resting Level Pendulum position forward and up where it holds this position for as long as power is being applied to the device.


Have you flipped it over?

If you mean have we tested it in different orientations, the answer is yes. Went so far as using our F.W. Bell 7030 Guass Tesla meter to find mangetic North and South. We have moved the chamber 180 degrees. Pointed the device up and down. You name it we've done it.

We've done all the classical tests looking for a classical explanation.

It's a good sign to see that there is interest in this kind of research. We are planning on doing a presentation in a conference later this year. We also are planning on submitting a paper so we can present our findings at STAIF, next year.

When we started vacuum testing the goal was to prove that the effect was not the product of ion wind or ion propulsion. The pressure measurements and the weighing of the device going in and coming out have not found any change in weight on the devices either down to 1mg of accuracy.

Thanks for the good question.

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #7 on: 06/27/2010 09:18 AM »
This last winter under a government funded effort we tested our Asymmetrical capacitor devices in both Air (atmospheric conditions) and Vacuum ( lower than 4.5x10^-6 Torr). In both test cases the results were identical. The devices showed a force averaging 2mN.

Currently we are working on trying to get someone to confirm the work but every organization that has been approached has shown great reservations in being the one to confirm the findings. The same issue keeps being sighted. While no researcher that has seen our final report has been able to identify the source or cause of the force, they retain the position that the effect must have a conventional origin despite their failure to identify it.

That puts me in a catch 22 at the moment. In either case I needed a fresh perspective and ideas so I figured this would be a great place to get it at.

Feel free to comment, make suggestion or ask questions. I will warn you that while the work is not secret, it is proprietary and non of the people and organizations involved want anyone to know who they are at the moment. The choice is mind, but I rather not burn any bridges, just yet.

I'll do my best to answer questions.

Hmm. Well, I don't know what you meant so googled it:
"Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters have been proposed as a source of propulsion. For over eighty years, it has been known that a thrust results when a high voltage is placed across an asymmetrical capacitor, when that voltage causes a leakage current to flow. However, there is surprisingly little experimental or theoretical data explaining this effect. This paper reports on the results of tests of several Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters (ACTs). The thrust they produce has been measured for various voltages, polarities, and ground configurations and their radiation in the VHF range has been recorded. These tests were performed at atmospheric pressure and at various reduced pressures."
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/citations/all/cr-2004-213312.html
And:
"One description I read says that the high voltage of the top conductor ionizes air (by removing or adding electrons?), which is then attracted to the bottom conductor. On its way to the bottom conductor it collides with neutral air molecules, and imparts momentum to them. The neutral molecules are not attracted to the conductor, so they just keep on moving in the same direction, creating the wind. The charged particles keep going until they hit the bottom electrode, give up their charge, and become free-floating neutral particles again."
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=80986

I know you can not create a perfect vacuum.
But it seems possible that if you reduce the amount air by making a vacuum, it might reasonable that the effect should affect it in some way. Or if you increase the air pressure it should similarly have some effect. Or if you change the content of the air into say hydrogen gas, one should see some effect.

But my question is other some science value [perhaps earth shattering in it's importance] what use would this have?

I assume the importance is you get propulsion without using rocket fuel, but it seems this has little practical importance unless one can get a lot of propulsion- that's it's an efficient means of moving.


Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #8 on: 06/27/2010 10:05 AM »
This last winter under a government funded effort we tested our Asymmetrical capacitor devices in both Air (atmospheric conditions) and Vacuum ( lower than 4.5x10^-6 Torr). In both test cases the results were identical. The devices showed a force averaging 2mN.

Currently we are working on trying to get someone to confirm the work but every organization that has been approached has shown great reservations in being the one to confirm the findings. The same issue keeps being sighted. While no researcher that has seen our final report has been able to identify the source or cause of the force, they retain the position that the effect must have a conventional origin despite their failure to identify it.

That puts me in a catch 22 at the moment. In either case I needed a fresh perspective and ideas so I figured this would be a great place to get it at.

Feel free to comment, make suggestion or ask questions. I will warn you that while the work is not secret, it is proprietary and non of the people and organizations involved want anyone to know who they are at the moment. The choice is mind, but I rather not burn any bridges, just yet.

I'll do my best to answer questions.

Hmm. Well, I don't know what you meant so googled it:
"Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters have been proposed as a source of propulsion. For over eighty years, it has been known that a thrust results when a high voltage is placed across an asymmetrical capacitor, when that voltage causes a leakage current to flow. However, there is surprisingly little experimental or theoretical data explaining this effect. This paper reports on the results of tests of several Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters (ACTs). The thrust they produce has been measured for various voltages, polarities, and ground configurations and their radiation in the VHF range has been recorded. These tests were performed at atmospheric pressure and at various reduced pressures."
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/citations/all/cr-2004-213312.html
And:
"One description I read says that the high voltage of the top conductor ionizes air (by removing or adding electrons?), which is then attracted to the bottom conductor. On its way to the bottom conductor it collides with neutral air molecules, and imparts momentum to them. The neutral molecules are not attracted to the conductor, so they just keep on moving in the same direction, creating the wind. The charged particles keep going until they hit the bottom electrode, give up their charge, and become free-floating neutral particles again."
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=80986

I know you can not create a perfect vacuum.
But it seems possible that if you reduce the amount air by making a vacuum, it might reasonable that the effect should affect it in some way. Or if you increase the air pressure it should similarly have some effect. Or if you change the content of the air into say hydrogen gas, one should see some effect.

But my question is other some science value [perhaps earth shattering in it's importance] what use would this have?

I assume the importance is you get propulsion without using rocket fuel, but it seems this has little practical importance unless one can get a lot of propulsion- that's it's an efficient means of moving.



There are two big values to the research, if and when confirmed which will take years I'm sure. First it's the fact that it would open new avenues in physics. New paths new phenomenology.

Second on the practical side the device is generating 24mN/W, which means it far exceeds any known form of Electric Space Propulsion. Then the issue is, if it's scalable and we have already found one sure way were we can scale the force linearly with power. Another simpler way to achieve scalability is going to be tested soon, that is simpler and therefore more practical.

In one simulation by a major Aerospace company they Calculated that using this form of propulsion they could move a spacecraft from low earth orbit to Mars Low orbit and back in 21 days. In another simulation they could move a satellite from low earth orbit to high earth orbit in one hour. So there are a lot of practical applications that could use this kind of performance.

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #9 on: 06/28/2010 02:55 AM »
There are two big values to the research, if and when confirmed which will take years I'm sure. First it's the fact that it would open new avenues in physics. New paths new phenomenology.

Second on the practical side the device is generating 24mN/W, which means it far exceeds any known form of Electric Space Propulsion. Then the issue is, if it's scalable and we have already found one sure way were we can scale the force linearly with power. Another simpler way to achieve scalability is going to be tested soon, that is simpler and therefore more practical.

There are many types of "Electric Space Propulsion", though all involve using propellent. And since this doesn't use a propellent is seem rather difficult to compared it. The significant of all known "Electric Space Propulsion" is speed in which it can propel mass. You aren't propelling mass, so how and why would you compare to them.
Most common "Electric Space Propulsion" such ion engine have very little thrust. And that is their disadvantage as compared to chemical rockets.

A ion engine compares favorably with a chemical rocket not because of it's thrust but because it uses less propellent mass more efficiently.

So instead comparing to an ion engine, why, other than it provides low thrust, not compare it to a chemical rocket. Or a solar sail. Or numerous other ways of moving in a vacuum.

"In one simulation by a major Aerospace company they Calculated that using this form of propulsion they could move a spacecraft from low earth orbit to Mars Low orbit and back in 21 days. In another simulation they could move a satellite from low earth orbit to high earth orbit in one hour. So there are a lot of practical applications that could use this kind of performance."

Ok. But since you haven't scale it up, it can't move spacecraft.
« Last Edit: 06/28/2010 02:58 AM by gbaikie »

Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #10 on: 06/28/2010 03:16 AM »
There are two big values to the research, if and when confirmed which will take years I'm sure. First it's the fact that it would open new avenues in physics. New paths new phenomenology.

Second on the practical side the device is generating 24mN/W, which means it far exceeds any known form of Electric Space Propulsion. Then the issue is, if it's scalable and we have already found one sure way were we can scale the force linearly with power. Another simpler way to achieve scalability is going to be tested soon, that is simpler and therefore more practical.

There are many types of "Electric Space Propulsion", though all involve using propellent. And since this doesn't use a propellent is seem rather difficult to compared it. The significant of all known "Electric Space Propulsion" is speed in which it can propel mass. You aren't propelling mass, so how and why would you compare to them.
Most common "Electric Space Propulsion" such ion engine have very little thrust. And that is their disadvantage as compared to chemical rockets.

A ion engine compares favorably with a chemical rocket not because of it's thrust but because it uses less propellent mass more efficiently.

So instead comparing to an ion engine, why, other than it provides low thrust, not compare it to a chemical rocket. Or a solar sail. Or numerous other ways of moving in a vacuum.

"In one simulation by a major Aerospace company they Calculated that using this form of propulsion they could move a spacecraft from low earth orbit to Mars Low orbit and back in 21 days. In another simulation they could move a satellite from low earth orbit to high earth orbit in one hour. So there are a lot of practical applications that could use this kind of performance."

Ok. But since you haven't scale it up, it can't move spacecraft.


Can't think of many technologies that began their life fully realized in their potential. Everything has to start somewhere.

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #11 on: 06/28/2010 06:43 AM »
This isn't a new concept, it's pretty old, and there's a lot of people aware of it and have tested it (myself included). The thrust produced does fall off with atmospheric pressure, so there is a very significant ion wind component to the thrust, however I've never seen any tests of it at pressures equivalent to low earth orbit.

If you are so sure it works, then I'd suggest you build a CubeSat that uses one of these thrusters, fed by solar cells. If you can maintain the 24 mN/W in orbit, then you should easily be able to demonstrate that with significant orbital changes. Publishing that data would be undeniable proof.

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Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #12 on: 06/28/2010 11:00 AM »
This isn't a new concept, it's pretty old, and there's a lot of people aware of it and have tested it (myself included). The thrust produced does fall off with atmospheric pressure, so there is a very significant ion wind component to the thrust, however I've never seen any tests of it at pressures equivalent to low earth orbit.

If you are so sure it works, then I'd suggest you build a CubeSat that uses one of these thrusters, fed by solar cells. If you can maintain the 24 mN/W in orbit, then you should easily be able to demonstrate that with significant orbital changes. Publishing that data would be undeniable proof.



Currently the plan is to have the results independently verified, then presented at an industry conference and publish a paper in a peer reviewed journal. Eventually as you suggest we would like to see it tested in orbit.

Just a note. There is no ion wind to our devices. While I used Asymmetric capacitor in the title of this post, our test device are unique examples of this technology. Ion wind is not even under debate by the experts that are looking at the work. In our case the performance did not change from atmospheric to high vacuum, it remains the same and constant.

I appreciate your suggestion, but we are still a few steps away from any kind of in orbit testing, but I'm sure it will come.

Offline mboeller

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #13 on: 06/28/2010 11:20 AM »
If I understand you correct, you/your company have managed to confirm the Biefeld-Brown effect, or?

Is your system some "grown up" version of the Lifters? Like here:  http://jnaudin.free.fr/lifters/main.htm


kind regards

Offline gbaikie

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #14 on: 06/28/2010 11:53 AM »
Can't think of many technologies that began their life fully realized in their potential. Everything has to start somewhere.

Ok, but you brought up the computer sim of taking round trip to Mars in less than 21 days.

Anyways I did a bit more reading regarding this and the important aspect seems to me that you need a lot of voltage for this to work.
And that size and shape of the capacitor is important.

So I assume it wouldn't work with low voltage. So one question is what is the lowest voltage it will work. And if you are using the lowest voltage does different air densities or different properties of the air make any difference.
As I said before, you can't make a perfect vacuum- NASA can't make a perfect vacuum. But nor is space a perfect vacuum- and low earth orbit is not even close to normal space in this regard. So, since space has atoms in it, and if this device is using ions, then it possible it could work in space.

Next question is does it work better with significantly higher voltages than are used.
And general question what is highest voltage one can use on earth. And could even higher voltage be used in space environment.

Next question is, if one Asymmetric Capacitor provides "thrust" can you have multiple Asymmetric Capacitors. Do they "interfere" with one another. Or how big can you make this Asymmetric Capacitor. Why can't you make one the size of a house.

It seems hobbyist are having great fun with these things- making flying things that confound their friends [apparently]. I suppose it will be these guys that will try things which might be interesting.


Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #15 on: 06/28/2010 02:44 PM »
This isn't a new concept, it's pretty old, and there's a lot of people aware of it and have tested it (myself included). The thrust produced does fall off with atmospheric pressure, so there is a very significant ion wind component to the thrust, however I've never seen any tests of it at pressures equivalent to low earth orbit.

If you are so sure it works, then I'd suggest you build a CubeSat that uses one of these thrusters, fed by solar cells. If you can maintain the 24 mN/W in orbit, then you should easily be able to demonstrate that with significant orbital changes. Publishing that data would be undeniable proof.



Currently the plan is to have the results independently verified, then presented at an industry conference and publish a paper in a peer reviewed journal. Eventually as you suggest we would like to see it tested in orbit.

Just a note. There is no ion wind to our devices. While I used Asymmetric capacitor in the title of this post, our test device are unique examples of this technology. Ion wind is not even under debate by the experts that are looking at the work. In our case the performance did not change from atmospheric to high vacuum, it remains the same and constant.

I appreciate your suggestion, but we are still a few steps away from any kind of in orbit testing, but I'm sure it will come.

Hector:

I have a few questions for you:

1. Does your thruster device work off dc or ac power? 

2. If dc, what is the magnitude of the drive voltage at the noted 2.0 milli-Newtons output?  If ac, what is the frequency and peak voltage at the same thrust level?  Is there a differnce in thrust production between the ac and dc cases for a given input voltage??

3. Is the power supply for the device mounted with the device, i.e., is it battery powered and therefore self-contianed with the device, or do you supply power to the device remotely via a twisted pair or coaxial cable?

Thanks much.
Star-Drive

Offline TyMoore

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #16 on: 06/28/2010 06:38 PM »
Interesting.

Have you folks tried purging the vacuum chamber with different compositions of gasses before vacuum pumping? For instance purging with helium and run the experiment. And then purge with nitrogen and run the same experiment. And then try one with an obvious electrical conductivity, like Neon.

If you get different results it could be an 'ion wind' effect. If you get the same results, it could be what you are looking for. Anyways, it maybe worth a try. It might be interesting to see if there is any correlation to the composition of your purge gas.

I woulld even try a run in Sulfur Hexaflouride gas which is a common high voltage insulating gas used in high voltage switching gear. If you get exactly the same force readings under all of those conditions I think you can definitively rule out ion wind.
« Last Edit: 06/28/2010 06:54 PM by TyMoore »

Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #17 on: 06/28/2010 10:15 PM »
Interesting.

Have you folks tried purging the vacuum chamber with different compositions of gasses before vacuum pumping? For instance purging with helium and run the experiment. And then purge with nitrogen and run the same experiment. And then try one with an obvious electrical conductivity, like Neon.

If you get different results it could be an 'ion wind' effect. If you get the same results, it could be what you are looking for. Anyways, it maybe worth a try. It might be interesting to see if there is any correlation to the composition of your purge gas.

I woulld even try a run in Sulfur Hexaflouride gas which is a common high voltage insulating gas used in high voltage switching gear. If you get exactly the same force readings under all of those conditions I think you can definitively rule out ion wind.


Good ideas. The chamber turbo-pump is currently getting a full rebuild so I will have to wait another week of two before I can try any of this, but I have about 38lbs of SF6 that I can use. It will probably affect pumping time, but like I said it's worth trying all of the above mentioned experiment since they would only add to our body of evidence.

Thanks.

Offline hec031

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #18 on: 06/28/2010 10:22 PM »
This isn't a new concept, it's pretty old, and there's a lot of people aware of it and have tested it (myself included). The thrust produced does fall off with atmospheric pressure, so there is a very significant ion wind component to the thrust, however I've never seen any tests of it at pressures equivalent to low earth orbit.

If you are so sure it works, then I'd suggest you build a CubeSat that uses one of these thrusters, fed by solar cells. If you can maintain the 24 mN/W in orbit, then you should easily be able to demonstrate that with significant orbital changes. Publishing that data would be undeniable proof.



Currently the plan is to have the results independently verified, then presented at an industry conference and publish a paper in a peer reviewed journal. Eventually as you suggest we would like to see it tested in orbit.

Just a note. There is no ion wind to our devices. While I used Asymmetric capacitor in the title of this post, our test device are unique examples of this technology. Ion wind is not even under debate by the experts that are looking at the work. In our case the performance did not change from atmospheric to high vacuum, it remains the same and constant.

I appreciate your suggestion, but we are still a few steps away from any kind of in orbit testing, but I'm sure it will come.

Hector:

I have a few questions for you:

1. Does your thruster device work off dc or ac power? 

2. If dc, what is the magnitude of the drive voltage at the noted 2.0 milli-Newtons output?  If ac, what is the frequency and peak voltage at the same thrust level?  Is there a differnce in thrust production between the ac and dc cases for a given input voltage??

3. Is the power supply for the device mounted with the device, i.e., is it battery powered and therefore self-contianed with the device, or do you supply power to the device remotely via a twisted pair or coaxial cable?

Thanks much.


DC, +41.5Kv@2uA and -41.4Kv@6uA. While the device is exposed to the vacuum, the Electrodes are not. The Electrodes are fully encapsulated and operating in their own environment, this is why the performance does not change regardless of what's on the outside of the device. Currently the device is powered via a high voltage feedthrough and umbilical cable. A self contained power supply and source is a few steps ahead of were we are at the moment, but it is one of our future experimental goals.

Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Asymmetric Capacitor In Vacuum
« Reply #19 on: 06/29/2010 03:59 AM »
This isn't a new concept, it's pretty old, and there's a lot of people aware of it and have tested it (myself included). The thrust produced does fall off with atmospheric pressure, so there is a very significant ion wind component to the thrust, however I've never seen any tests of it at pressures equivalent to low earth orbit.

If you are so sure it works, then I'd suggest you build a CubeSat that uses one of these thrusters, fed by solar cells. If you can maintain the 24 mN/W in orbit, then you should easily be able to demonstrate that with significant orbital changes. Publishing that data would be undeniable proof.


Currently the plan is to have the results independently verified, then presented at an industry conference and publish a paper in a peer reviewed journal. Eventually as you suggest we would like to see it tested in orbit.

Just a note. There is no ion wind to our devices. While I used Asymmetric capacitor in the title of this post, our test device are unique examples of this technology. Ion wind is not even under debate by the experts that are looking at the work. In our case the performance did not change from atmospheric to high vacuum, it remains the same and constant.

I appreciate your suggestion, but we are still a few steps away from any kind of in orbit testing, but I'm sure it will come.

Hector:

I have a few questions for you:

1. Does your thruster device work off dc or ac power? 

2. If dc, what is the magnitude of the drive voltage at the noted 2.0 milli-Newtons output?  If ac, what is the frequency and peak voltage at the same thrust level?  Is there a differnce in thrust production between the ac and dc cases for a given input voltage??

3. Is the power supply for the device mounted with the device, i.e., is it battery powered and therefore self-contianed with the device, or do you supply power to the device remotely via a twisted pair or coaxial cable?

Thanks much.


DC, +41.5Kv@2uA and -41.4Kv@6uA. While the device is exposed to the vacuum, the Electrodes are not. The Electrodes are fully encapsulated and operating in their own environment, this is why the performance does not change regardless of what's on the outside of the device. Currently the device is powered via a high voltage feedthrough and umbilical cable. A self contained power supply and source is a few steps ahead of were we are at the moment, but it is one of our future experimental goals.

Hector:

Since you are running a fairly high voltage into this test article, I need to know what the ac ripple voltage and frequency are that may be riding on top of this ~83kV total dc supply voltage.  As Robert Talley showed in his 1991 AFRL report, ac ripple or impulse signals can have a marked effect on the output response of these types of devices and he was only dealing with 19kV.  However if your input HV is pure dc, it rules out a number of possible explanations for its thrust signature and the mechanisms behind it.

Second question.  How are you meauring this thrust signature?  Is it on a standard pendulum?  If so, it can't be much longer than 10 inches, or it wouldn't fit in your 12-1/2 inch OD by 15 inch long vacuum chamber. 

That brings up the third question and that is how did you calibrate your force sensor and how are you detecting the 2.0 mN force signature?  With a 10" pendulum and say a 200 gram test article, the pendulum's deflection with that thrust level is not going to be very large.

All the best.
Star-Drive

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